Category Archives: Writing

Posts covering writing theory

I Love the Rain

Rain, rain, stay today.
Let me sleep
to your welcoming beat.
The tempo and hum
of notes sounding from
the surfaces your drops meet
methodically soothes my spirit
no matter how ill my temper.
The rhythms play me to sleep
in short order
and I actually nod off
with a smile from my soul
that plays on my lips.
Only to melt with me
into an easy slumber.
What’s not to love?

© 2016 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Poem #11 for National Poetry Month. It’s raining as I write this and my heart is light…as happens with the rain. I get excited when it’s time for bed in the rain. Hope you get an idea of what I’m trying to convey.

Mixed Media High

I’m seeing in my mind
colors I didn’t know had names
until I came to this place where hues
beg me to bring them together.
My hands tingle as I work a heavy medium
through a stencil
to raise something magical.
Collaged paper pieces, stamped words
and images I get to paint over
as I see fit.
My mind seeks colors
and just saying them makes me smile—
and salivate a little bit.

Picking colors, alizarin crimson, dioxizine purple,
quinacridone nickel azo gold, or cobalt teal and turquoise.
How to add them: watercolor, acrylics, crayons
or pencils. Gesso, butterfly stamps, text printed or pasted.

My eyes may tear some and my heartbeat quickens
and I’ll notice my breath is catching
letting in and out only half as often as normal.
All this as I paint with
brush, sponge, gift card, fingers
to no particular outcome,
only through freedom.

It’s not each time I sit before my art table
that things are so painfully exquisite.
Only when I sit with deliberate action
making space and time in my mind,
full permission, free to experience
expressing what roils within.
Only then
can I touch the sacred Spirit in me
that dances in color and form, gleefully pleased
I’ve chosen to be released into it
and that Art into me.

© 2016 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Poem #3 for National Poetry Month. I was on a roll. But there was a glitch in WordPress when I updated the version. It removed my tools for formatting, previewing and such. I had to spend my lunch figuring out how to put it back instead of revising my post. Turns out, the end of the day, there were more changes than I expected. And I had to wait until I was satisfied…now I’m done. I hope you like or get it.

Note: If you’re  interested in seeing some of my art, that I’m passionate about making, please visit my art blog, Shari’s Art Journal, and FB page, Shari’s Art Project.

In Full Force

A friend asked me not long ago, if I ever took time to write. I told him I just don’t have time, can’t make time to get back to me. Not sure if there are any of my own words left in the Guff.

It occurred to me that he knew what I didn’t fully embrace, that my lifeline, my words, would never be lost to me, but I did have to make the effort to wend my way back to the reservoir. And that it was something I needed to do.

Drinking Deeply

Last week, at the start of my salvation, I sat on Sunday evening and wrote a poem for myself. Strangely, it popped out of my hand from things my soul had taken in. I remembered how I can go from here at any time and am good with that. Always was, since I can remember. But, today, there are little people that make me happy to be here, to see them grow. Events I would like to see unfold in the world. Changes I would like to see come about in my community. And so came the poem.

And then came another. And another. And in the space of a few hours, I had written poems through Saturday, May 10, 2014. I say through Saturday because, instead of posting them all at once, I scheduled them all, one daily at 06:30. When I had to work to get the last one done, I realized I had written to my heart’s content, and it was good.


I chose that publishing time, because it would give me enough room to give a final check before I have to leave for work — if I were so inclined.

I was not. I wrote each poem, revised and edited as it asked, scheduled it, and moved on until I felt content. In keeping with the original intent of this blog, I let them stand as they were. Each poem came in its own time, and reached an acceptable level that made me comfortable with putting it out there. Not perfect, but that doesn’t exist so it’s okay.

This, My Play Area

This is where I encourage ideas to flow freely and try to capture them. The decent ones I share. Those not quite ‘there’ I delete, and reproduce elsewhere to be worked on, if I think they merit it.

What you see here is the fruit of the joy and freedom of what I find most compelling and saving about writing. It is the place where I can only reach my success by freeing and then embracing, that which is ultimately, uniquely, profoundly, humbly me. This site was not fun for a while because of all the life stuff I let get in the way. Even play takes work. But, I realize anew that this fun is another way to play through my trials and triumphs.

I forgot how much I thrive because of this, and I do believe I’m home again.

It’s important for me to make time to play. And I suspect it must be the case for others too. Do you have writing as a lifeline and want to share? Leave me a comment if you’re so inclined. Or, write about it and invite me to your blog.

Sixteen Sixty-Six Point Six Seven

Daily writing 1666.67 words;
that’s what is required
to meet the NaNoWriMo goal
of 50,000 words
in 30 day.

People balk at that
when I mention the count
and I don’t understand
their reaction.
They call it tedium
and disgusting.
I’m sure if you added up
all their texts, tweets,
Facebook posts, emails and snail mails
and any lists and journals
many of these ‘non’ writers keep,
they could likely succeed
at NaNoWriMo in their sleep.

Maybe like some of them,
for me the count is not the problem.
My only thought is
how will I decide
which 1666.67 words
to begin with to say
my story into existence.

Every November day
is a story-telling struggle
to pick the right 1666.67 words
to shape the story on paper
from images and ideas in my head.
Finally, after some struggle and prodding
I give in to the rest of my life
and give up writing my story
only to keep in the back of my mind,

I let that paltry
1666.67 words beat me again!

© 2014 Shari Lynne Smothers

We All Got To Go From Here

Time to answer for myself
is ever looming before me.
Every day, I’m older
move and heal a little slower,
careening toward an ending
of my time here I can’t see
but am fully aware is coming.

On my way
I work to keep my load light
void of guilt wherever I can drop it.
Trying to do the right thing first
before I have to be told
I was wrong for something.
Aside from that
making amends when wrong seemed
my better alternative.

I live in interesting times.
And had I been born
in a different era
my hope is
I’d still be one to stop
to appreciate things.
Simply marvelous.
The butterfly lighting
lithely on the tip of the dandelion.

Breathtakingly warm
The school girl who’s dad
fresh from military service
greets her in class,
surprising her takes her breath away
drawing tears from her barely believing eyes.

Brutally horrific
The grown ass man
who fires 10 rounds into
a car of unarmed black youth
because he didn’t like their music
or their lack of regard for him;
The jury of his peers
can’t agree it was murder
even after finding him guilty of
attempted murder against
the ones who lived.

I marvel at the craziness of it
the changing landscape of killing.
Thinking of how we are forced
to learn history dates names places and facts
we never learn from
only repeat the same jacked up mistakes
with a different face
and maybe a twist on the specifics.

One thing that never changes
in this world of unoriginal
sin and mediocrity,
we all have to go from here.
I believe we all have to answer
for the smarmy things we do.
I wish others believed
really believed
and maybe
they’d try to do better
while they’re still here
inflicting themselves on others.
It’d be kinda cool
to be in a world where
it looked like
good people were in the majority.

Time and tide . . .

© 2014 Shari Lynne Smothers

NaNoWriMo: I didn’t Do it Again

It has become clear to me that I am not ready to write a novel in 30 days. I won’t tell you I tried, because I didn’t really. I wrote here and there, and gave in to other life callings, and wrote a poem a day—for the most part. It’s evident to me that I will choose a poem daily over a novel in thirty days every time.

No Writing Super Hero Cape for Me

I thought I might manage it this year: the daily poems and the novel. It was just my imagination. This year, I am officially letting myself off the hook. I will work in a relaxed manner, writing daily, to finish my novel in a year. I take the idea from Walter Mosley’s writing book, This Year You Write Your Novel. I will take the year beginning December 1 to complete one of the two stories I have started in this and last year’s NaNo event. (I still have the notes.)

Daily writing is a great idea. I find I enjoy it very much. However, I don’t always have it in me to write on the exact same subject. It is possibly what draws me to poetry. Still, I have longer stories I want to tell. It’s just that forcing myself to do it in thirty days only works in my imagination.

Why Not

I really can and often do write more than 2000 words daily. I type at an adequate rate of 60 words per minute on average. I have cool software to assist and my tried and true application, Corel WordPerfect. It’s not the mechanics.

There’s no problem with following ideas. I prime them, feed them, and let them go, chasing frantically, writing feverishly to capture the nuances and tangents. I’m perfectly willing to shape them later. So, it’s not the postponement of editing.

I could blame it on the fact that everyone says that you have to write crap. Writing crap really doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t mind bad first drafts. But that isn’t crap to me, necessarily. Most likely though, it’s the fact that I have way too many story questions. I’ve not substantially stacked in my favor, the odds for success. I watch stories, think of stories, and read stories. When the leaps don’t work for me, I wonder how it might have been done differently so that it doesn’t resemble magic, but a founded, logical next step.

I’m Just Not Doing It in November

Ok, I do want it to be good the first time out. I just don’t need perfection. The bottom line is that I don’t feel it in the month of November. Perhaps I’ll take the next 30 day month—Oh, no! That’s April, National Poetry Month. Just kidding. I’ll give myself the year and let the story play out as it will, leaving myself free to do any extraneous research I might choose.

Who can say if it will take the full year? I can’t say because I never got so far as finishing. Still, by next November, I may be eager to crank out a sequel. For now, I’ll get back to my daily poems. Write on, NaNoWriMo’s. Part of me really does wish I was finishing with you. But, I let myself off the hook and I’m staying off, indefinitely.